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Withdrawals: What To Expect When Quitting

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. steven, quit coach
    steven, quit coach avatar
    40 posts
    12 Sep 2018
    05 Jul 2019
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    Hello everyone,

    I thought it would be helpful/useful to share some information on Withdrawals and what to possibly expect when quitting smoking:

    Not all smokers experience withdrawal symptoms but most have some. Some have a mild form. A few smokers have severe withdrawal.
    Most of it is caused by nicotine leaving your body. Some of it may be psychological as you adjust to not smoking.
    Withdrawal may feel bad but it means that your body and mind are repairing themselves. You are getting healthy and un-addicted to nicotine.
    Withdrawal symptoms can be thought of as 'recovery' symptoms, a sign that your body and mind is repairing itself.
    Withdrawal usually starts a few hours after you stop and may peak in 2 or 3 days. You should begin to feel better after that. Some people get through it quickly, while for others it can take longer. It may feel bad, but it is seldom dangerous. Remember, most symptoms will go away in a while.
    If your symptoms persist for a long time then see your Doctor.

    If there is anyone else who would like to add to this discussion, perhaps it would be helpful (for those that have quit/currently going through the beginning of a quit) to share their experiences with withdrawals and how they got through them.

    -Steven (Quit Coach)
  2. atp
    atp avatar
    501 posts
    31 Dec 2018
    08 Jul 2019 in reply to steven, quit coach
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    Physical withdrawal can be a big challenge. That stopped me from quitting so many times over the years. Afraid of a little discomfort. 

    There's headaches, vomiting, not sleeping, being thirsty 24/7, shaking, being short tempered, etc. And in like 2-4 days the worst of that passes. I did my last quit cold turkey, so I suppose you can cut the edge by using NRT's or whatnot. At the time it is the worst feeling. But, and this is a huge but, the rewards are amazing.

    You need to want it - that's all. 

    I chose to focus on the positive changes. The smokers cough subsiding, breathing better, improved blood pressure (I went from having 140/90 for years to 112/75 within 5 days!), smelling better, being able to walk up a flight of stairs and not be wheezing, etc. 
  3. dublinguy
    dublinguy avatar
    349 posts
    09 Dec 2021
    23 Mar 2022
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    Interesting thread that could be very helpful to new people quitting so they can relate.

    I used the patches and the mist so I was still getting nicotine when I quit but withdrawal symptoms I had were:
    headaches, heartburn, vomiting, restless, thirsty all the time, vivid dreams, flaky skin on my face and scalp, blood in my mucus from my nose, irritable.
    And it seemed to go on for weeks. When I stepped down from Step 1 to step 2 of the patch I got cranky and that lead to a slip and I smoked which then made me sick. I'm now finished with the patches but I'm still using the mist during the day. I'm beginning to think about quitting the mist now. Its very handy in the car where I used to smoke a lot. Or in work when I'm bored and feeling triggered. But all the withdrawal is gone now... Im heading for 4 months on April 6th so I'll probably aim to quit the mist then.

    I'd love to have been able to do this cold turkey but that takes some strength. I did that method before and the first month was nothing but hell and I always ended up back on the smokes. This time I've used the tracker here to monitor progress in terms of how many cigarettes I would have smoked, how many days Ive lasted and of course, how much money Ive saved. And strangely those things seem to be enough to keep me motivated to keep going.

    My mum told me if I relapse now having gotten this far (107 days) I would be stupid... and that's true. Everything from month 1 would come back again. I do miss smoking because it was something I did for everything... wake up /smoke, coffee/smoke, coca cola/ smoke, read emails/smoke, lunch/smoke, drive/smoke, dinner/smoke, on the phone/smoke... the list goes on. I was a hard core addict and I thought Id never quit.

    It takes time and Im still in the process of learning to be a non smoker. Ive seen that that can take up to 6 months... and that's when they say should be a target to come off all nrt as well...
3 posts, 0 answered